I have an SUV. It’s no hybrid, so is there anything I can do to make driving it greener?
-Sandy, Fort Worth, TX
Yes! Much of it comes down to saving gas, which in turn reduces pollution, saves natural resources, and saves money. There are so many options, we’ll dive right in with three of the easiest:
- Pack light. The lighter your car is, the better MPG you’re likely to get. The easiest way to make a big difference here is to take out the heaviest items — meaning, it’s okay to keep your spare reusable bags in the car, but don’t drive around with a set of golf clubs sitting in the trunk.
- Avoid idling. Idling uses more gas than restarting your car, so when you’re waiting to pick up the kids or considering the drive-thru’s very, very long line, opt for turning off the car instead. That said, restarting your own car excessively winds up using a good deal of gas, so don’t turn your car off and on while you’re in line for the drive through; choose a parking space and walk in.
- Keep to the speed limit. If this sounds like a strange eco-tip, we understand. But according to the U.S. Department of Energy, gas mileage decreases rapidly every 5 MPH you go above 50 MPH. Cruise control may come in handy to help you stay at the right speed for safety and gas savings!